HK most vibrant place in region, travellers say

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 May, 2009, 12:00am

Travellers perceive Hong Kong as the best spot in the Asia-Pacific region for vibrancy, nightlife and shopping, according to a CNN Global Travel and Tourism Survey.

The Big Bauhinia bested Australia and Japan in the 'most vibrant city life' category, topped Japan and Thailand to secure 'best nightlife' honours, and beat Singapore and the mainland to bag 'best shopping' in the region, the CNN release said.

'The survey didn't probe the reasons respondents scored destinations in a particular way,' said Duncan Morris, vice-president for research with Turner International Asia Pacific.

'They were simply asked to select the 'activities', 'mood' or 'environment' they thought applied for a list of destinations. More respondents linked 'vibrant city life', 'good for nightlife' and 'good for shopping' with Hong Kong than any of the 18 other Asia-Pacific destinations.'

Hong Kong also performed well in other categories. It ranked second in the region for 'good food' and 'good facilities for meetings and conferences', and landed in the top five in the 'tourist-friendly' and 'safe to visit' categories, Mr Morris noted.

More than 5,300 people around the world took part in the survey in December and January - even those who had never visited the place they were voting for.

Vibrancy, nightlife and shopping 'are image attributes that Hong Kong has long been associated with, and clearly they persist in the minds of global travellers today'.

The online consumer survey also asked about people's travel plans for this year, and many respondents seem to be packing their bags - global financial crisis or not. The survey found that 46 per cent of business travellers in the Asia-Pacific region 'claim the economic environment has had no impact on their business travel plans' - and nearly 80 per cent of Asia-Pacific respondents said they would 'likely' vacation somewhere in the region this year, CNN said.

'Overall, the survey indicated that more people would travel for holiday over the next 12 months than last year, but one in five would make fewer trips,' the release said.

Meanwhile, when it comes to air travel, 58 per cent of travellers in the Asia-Pacific region were 'willing to pay more' to fly with their trusted carrier rather than shell out money for a flight with another airline.

This figure is 8 percentage points higher than the global average and 17 points higher than the North American average, the release said.

Asia-Pacific travellers spent a little more than US$4,000 for their last vacation on average - compared with a worldwide average of US$3,700.

Big spenders

The amount, in US dollars, that Asia-Pacific travellers spent on their last holiday was just over: $4,000

This compares to the worldwide average of, in US dollars, $3,700